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Reaching for a love that seems so far.
By Nadee Pathmaperuma; Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce. Department
of Decision Sciences, 2nd
Everything was so calm and quiet. An air of tranquility environed his perishing body. A
gentle breeze kissed his tear stained cheeks as he slowly strolled along the beach. It was
something which got caught in his foot that made him halt in his tracks.
Sea-shells. That was what he thought it was at first. But when he picked it up and had a closer
look, it became rather familiar. Too familiar, that he didn‟t even notice he was holding his
breath until he was practically choking.
It was just a bracelet made out of sea-shells. But for him it meant much more than just a
bracelet. The sight of it made him wander back through his mind in search of those heart-
These memories stretched out before him like a wretched film, depressing and tormenting
him more than he already was. Shame, guilt and remorse rose up within him like a blazing
fire, burning his soul.
He was according to his friends, the coolest and the most famous guy in the whole school. He
always wanted this social status and reputation of his to last forever. At least he thought he
did. That was before he met “her”. Sasha.
She was a charming, lovely girl who was a bit shy and who was, according to “his” friends,
so not in the “in” crowd. That obviously meant that she was not worth hanging around with.
Even though she didn‟t care about any of that, there was something or rather someone she
really did care about. And that was “him”. Jay. If you‟re in confusion, yes “he” was Jay.
Although he acted as if he didn‟t care about anything less than his prestige and reputation,
Jay was a kind, generous guy from the inside. Only he didn‟t want to show it or anybody to
know, afraid it would impair his repute. The fact was that the “in” crowd was not the kind
and generous type. So he let his true nature known only to himself.
It wasn‟t luck, but destiny that brought them together. Many were the occasions they were
assigned to do projects together. These meetings made them closer and they got to know each
Sasha, who had had a secret crush on him since the first time she had laid her eyes on him,
understood Jay and saw him for the person whom he really was. She loved his gentleness as
well as his rough, playful nature.
On the other hand, Jay was attracted to the girl more than he was willing to admit. Her
kindness gave warmth to his soul, strengthening the person he was from within. However, his
reputation seemed copiously important to him.
So he acted as if he totally didn‟t care for her. But even his acting couldn‟t deny the fact that
he was madly and irrevocably in love with her.
Nevertheless this love was kept unsaid between them, for Sasha felt Jay should make the first
move and Jay being most reluctant towards it.
It was on a very sunny Sunday that one of his friends suggested they play beach volleyball. It
was a perfect idea for those who had been thinking of getting suntanned, and that including
Jay however was extremely happy with the idea for yet another, but completely different
reason. That was, getting a chance of seeing Sasha, who lived nearby.
They did enjoy volleyball immensely; but Jay‟s mind was all focused on Sasha. He excused
himself and trotted along the beach.
Meanwhile Sasha who had seen the “cool” guys play, saw Jay walking along the beach all
alone. Nothing could‟ve made her happier. She quickly set out to join him. Along with her
she took something she had made just for him.
“Hey!” she said somewhat breathlessly. His presence managed to do that to her always.
“Hi!” replied Jay truly pleased that his prayer had been answered. How he yearned to see her!
They chatted merrily for a while.
“I made this for you” gushed Sasha, placing in his hand, a bracelet made of sea-shells.
“Wow! It‟s beautiful. Thank you.” Jay was quick to admire it.
“My mom‟s probably looking for me. I should get back home now.” Even if this wasn‟t a
total fib, Sasha suddenly felt very shy.
“See you tomorrow.” He said with a feeling of growing passion.
Jay watched her drift away. This was more than an ordinary bracelet, he knew. She had made
it just for him. It was special. It said all what was kept unsaid between them.
“Yo dude, what‟s that? Ooh, nice. That girl really has a thing for you, doesn‟t she?” Jay was
at once called back from his own dreamy world, to the real one.
“It‟s not a „thing‟. It‟s called love; and I happen to have the same „thing‟ for her too.” He
wanted to yell out the words at his so called friend, but couldn‟t get the words to his mouth.
“Yeah. May be. But who cares?” he said casually to his friend who was now looking at the
bracelet skeptically. Nothing could‟ve been further away from the truth. He felt he wasn‟t
ready to confront his love in front of his friends. No. Not yet. He thought.
So just to throw his friend off the trail, he tossed the bracelet on to the sand. He didn‟t want to
do it, but he just had to.
“I‟ll pick it up again later.” He vowed to himself. But never did he think once that this could
possibly hurt anybody so badly.
It was when he turned to avoid his friend‟s sharp gaze, that he met the pair of tear streaming
eyes. His heart sank.
There was nothing but pain, anger, sorrow & disgust concealed within those clear grey eyes.
Sasha had seen him and it was evident form her expression that she had misunderstood his
behavior. He wanted to cry out loud and tell her that what she had seen was not the truth.
He wanted more than anything else to apologize and he wanted to tell her in front of
everybody, that he loved her. But he couldn‟t. He just couldn‟t.
Standing there helplessly, he watched her disappear into her house. Pure fury was coursing
through his body. He had betrayed her trust. Her love. Even worse, she now thought he had
all this time, made fun of her!
Sasha or his reputation? After giving them both a thought all night, he came to a decision.
Sasha. Nothing was of greater importance to him than her now.
Jay made up his mind to apologize first thing in the morning at school and also to confess his
love. Only he couldn‟t. Not because he changed his mind at the eleventh hour; but because
Sasha didn‟t come to school. Even though he tried calling, she didn‟t answer his calls. He
was guilty for what happened the previous day. He felt it was entirely his fault she didn‟t
show up in school.
Another day passed by and still there was no sign of her. He was becoming anxious and
impatient every passing second.
“Hey Jay, what‟s eating you up buddy? You‟re not still thinking about that girl, are you? If
she‟s nobody to you, why do you care?” his friends asked him one day.
“Because I love her!” This time he didn‟t deny it.
On that day after school, he went over to her place. Holding a single rose in his hand, he
waited for someone to answer the door.
“No you can‟t speak to her.” Her mother said with an ice cold voice. “You know why?” He
was taken aback by the venom in his voice. “It‟s because she has gone into a coma.” Her
This was just too much for him. Jay stood there transfixed, unable to speak, shocked by this
news. He didn‟t seem to notice the rose slipping out of his hold.
“She”, continued her mother with a husky voice. “was born with a weak heart. Too much
stress was bad for her health. So we always tried our best to keep her happy. But Sunday
night she found it very difficult to breathe. We took her to the hospital and the next thing I
know, she had slipped into a coma. Her condition is getting worse. The doctors think that if
she doesn‟t come out of it in another few days, we should let her go.” She broke into heavy
“Oh why am I telling you all this?” her voice was shaking vehemently. “You just like
breaking people‟s hearts.”
He felt as if she had just slapped him. A slap would have been better. Better than the painful
intensity of her words. He thought.
“You know, nobody can force you to love someone. But you could have at least been a good
friend to her.” Her words stabbed him right in the heart.
“Why don‟t you just go and find someone else to toy with?” her cold voice was still ringing
in his ears, when the chirp of a seagull brought him back to the present.
The cool waves touched his feet tenderly. Tears welled up in his eyes as his gaze fell upon
the bracelet in his hand. He felt miserable.
“I‟m so sorry.” His voice was almost above a whisper. The sun looked bright red as if it was
on fire; and it seemed to be taking with it all the happy memories he had left. The sight of it
made a beautiful, yet tragic picture and looking back at that picture made him realize that
there was a story behind. The story of his life.